At the outset, this discussion may seem weird. But then again, perhaps it won’t, at least to some people, because I’ve actually seen it mentioned in two separate intuitive eating books so far.
Some of us, when we begin intuitive eating, have a fear that if we wait until we’re truly hungry to eat, that hunger will never happen. We’ll never “feel it.” We’re so out of touch with our body’s signals that perhaps we’ll never truly know.
It just won’t happen, we’ll go all day without food and we won’t be experiencing, in that time, the joy of something that tastes good.
I am the poster child for this kind of fear. Added to it is my fear that maybe I’ll “really” be hungry somewhere in there but won’t know it and therefore, eventually my body will be STARVING so I’ll eat until I throw up.
And then of course there are all the admonitions to “never get too hungry” – even on calorie-restrictive diets (ironically) – and the generally accepted guidline to eat every 3-4 hours in order to “keep up our metabolism” to put into the worry-pot.
Well, today I wasn’t hungry after lunch. I just wasn’t. In fact, the thought of eating was making me sick.
Hours went by. Evening fell. My husband produced a marvelous dinner of spaghetti and long-cooked sausages. Mmmmmmm. Could I eat a bite? No.
So I waited. Full-on dark came. The Walking Dead showed, and was over. Bedtime for my children neared.
I still wasn’t hungry.
Many times during the afternoon/evening, the fears I’ve related above came and went. But damn it, I was NOT going to eat until I was hungry. Not this time.
At last, it was 8:45. It had been seven hours and 15 minutes since I’d last eaten. I had had a stomach growl or two in the previous half hour, but no “I want to eat now” thought or feeling attached to it. At 8:45 that “I want to eat it now” feeling came.
And I ate, and it was fantastic. Delicious.
You will get hungry. I can tell you that I am someone who has been out of touch with her body literally since birth, when my mother twisted and turned my feeding schedule to fit what she thought was best and then alternately force-fed me and starved me from toddlerhood on. I have lived my entire 46 years not knowing when I was hungry and when I wasn’t.
But tonight, I waited, and I knew.
It was worth the wait.